La radiologia medica

, Volume 124, Issue 2, pp 103–108 | Cite as

MDCT in acute ischaemic left colitis: a pictorial essay

  • Graziella Di GreziaEmail author
  • Gianluca Gatta
  • Roberta Rella
  • Francesca Iacobellis
  • Daniela Berritto
  • Lanfranco Aquilino Musto
  • Roberto Grassi


The pathogenesis of acute ischaemic colitis depends on two different forms of vascular colonic insult: occlusive injury and non-occlusive injury. Clinically, ischaemic colitis may be classified as two major forms: mild (non-gangrenous) and acute fulminant (gangrenous). The classic presentation is abdominal pain, diarrhoea and/or rectal bleeding, but it is not specific and highly variable and so the diagnosis usually depends on clinical suspicion and is supported by serologic and colonoscopic findings. Imaging methods have their role in diagnosing IC. While plain radiography and ultrasound can orient the diagnosis, CT allows to define the morphofunctional alterations discriminating the non-occlusive forms from the occlusive forms and in most cases to estimate the timing of ischaemic damage. Purpose of the review is to define the role of CT in the early identification of pathological findings and in the definition of evolution of colonic ischaemic lesions, in order to plan the correct therapeutic approach, suggesting the decision of medical or surgical treatment.


Ischaemic colitis bowel infarction abdominal pain 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.

Ethical standards

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent has been obtained from all patients.


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Copyright information

© Italian Society of Medical Radiology 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Radiology DepartmentCriscuoli HospitalSant’Angelo dei LombardiItaly
  2. 2.Radiology DepartmentUniversity of Campania Luigi VanvitelliNaplesItaly
  3. 3.Radiology DepartmentCasa di Cura Villa dei FioriAcerraItaly

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